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Why I have an example of this just the other day from my game. My NG cleric of Sarenrae (Nice for the win!) made a gesture- he gave to a person from a very distant place a copy of his holy text, and a pair of spectacles of understanding as well. The rest of the party objected rather strenuously to simply giving away a 5K piece of loot with no mechanical benefit, even though it was entirely within my character's appropriate scope of behavior.
Apparently when good is actually altruistic, even others who consider themselves good will object. Why? Because truly being good isn't the norm for good players. My story wouldn't be remarkable if players held Good to the same standards as Evil.
See, Set and Ryjin are going on about what I'm talking about.
I suggested a NE character - a Magnificent Bastard sort ala Al Swearengen-- to a GM I was playing with who is really generally a very good GM, and he recoiled in horror. He was convinced my NE character would betray the party at the first opportunity. I was agog- while my NE probably WOULD betray the party, it wouldn't be at the FIRST opportunity- it would be at the BEST opportunity.
I explained that if you're NE, you're motivated entirely by self-interest. Aligning yourself with a group of people who make you stronger and enable you to garner more power, prestige, and wealth makes perfect sense. And I would be absolutely out for the best for the group (and thus, myself) up until the point where I A- didn't need them or B- got an undeniably better offer.
He countered that I would lie, cheat, kill, and steal from teammates. I said that I wouldn't, because my character is not stupid. Just being NE doesn't mean that you have absolutely no self control- it means you don't exercise self-control where it won't benefit you to do it.
I dropped the idea when it became clear we just had very disparate ideas about what a NE, and indeed what any Evil character, would do in a group setting. But it really got me thinking.
Does it sort of feel that, in a perverse sort of way, Evil is held to a higher standard than good?
Everyone assumes the TET is going to go axe-crazy without provocation, or be compelled without recourse to do evil at every opportunity, but no one ever imagines that the good characters are going to be compulsively buying food for the poor instead of better gear, or spending spells to heal lepers and atone for criminals.
Mal: How come you didn't turn on me, Jayne?Jayne: Money wasn't good enough.
Mal: What happens when it is?
Jayne: (smiling) Well... that'll be an interesting day.
How many of you as GMs allow evil characters in your standard non-evil campaign?
How many of you as players have played alongside or as the token evil teammate?
What roles do you guys find most fitting for the TET in terms of group dynamics? Alignment? Classes?
I'm always sort of fond of the TET characters. Be they Jayne from Firefly, Alice Morgan from Luther, Loki from the most recent Thor movie, Jack from ME2, Morrigan from Dragon Age- I feel like the TET can provide a valuable perspective to an otherwise monolithic group of "heroes" (or muderhobos, depending on your group). They can give the opportunity, if played well, of interpersonal friction within the party that doesn't necessarily lead to blows. You can redeem 'em! You can fall to their level! They can provide a pragmatic counterpoint to an otherwise circuitous plan!
Just not in a party with a Paladin. Ever.
First, you have my sympathies for your peanut and/or chocolate allergy.
Second, I used to play quite regularly in a local lodge (which I have recently been a poor attendee), but have also gamed at cons and in other lodges when I travel for work. I have seen all manner and variety of games and gamers, but most frequently when I set down at the table, folks will ask "What does your character do?" Our Warhorn sign-up even includes a slot for class, level, and party role. I'm not saying they need to know your + to hit and damange, but they do want to know, mechanically, what your character does.
While many people can and do roleplay well at our lodge, I see an equal amount of persons attempting to be mechanically unique to stand out from the crowd. I don't see anything particularly wrong with this approach, and indeed, in organized play, given the limited time to accomplish a set goal, sometimes RP opportunities fall by the wayside. When all your character interactions are in 4 and 5 hour increments, you may not know that Buliwyf, Son of Folkvardr became obsessed with armor as a kid because he was slow and his father the blacksmith was convinced he would hurt himself if given weapons to train with, but you would remember that shielded fighter with armor spikes who is nearly impossible to hit and wrecks faces up close.
Two whole pages!?
However do you find the time to read all that?
James Jacobs wrote:
The more Taldor bans Sarenrae worship, in other words, the more Taldor shifts from being Neutral into being Evil, or the more we support the idea that there's a REASON a non-evil nation would want to outlaw the kindest religion.
Cultural misunderstanding, long-held grudges, and basic xenophobia are all perfectly justifiable reasons to have Taldor outlaw her worship. That is irrespective of the actual content or precepts of the faith.
If nothing else, it reinforces Taldor cultural identity to differentiate themselves from a foreign menace. When the US added "Under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance, it wasn't based on an outpouring of heart-felt faith, but as a means to differentiate the Us from the Them, who at that time were the Godless Commies.
It strikes me as reasonable- even plausible- that other nations may have a similar knee-jerk reaction when confronted by an outside force which seems to have a monolithic characteristic.
Only evil outsiders. And then only when he's sure they're not some special snowflake, because Always Evil races are stereotypical and biased.
Mystically Inclined wrote:
I was at a game where this happened. One player was playing a very very charismatic Halfling paladin, and attempting to smooth over a situation with some of the local guards.
"Gentlemen, surely we can overcome this misunderstanding..." *rolls a natural 1* "... you bunch of cock-nosed whoresons."
We laughed and laughed.
The "fluff" is the reason for the mechanics. Where do you suppose the Paladins derive their 4th level divine spells and swift action heals and combat oriented Charisma uses?
Want a Samurai? Play a Samurai. Want a Knight Templar? Play a Cavalier. Want a Jedi Knight? Play a Magus.
You want a mechanical advantage without the baggage? Homerule away. But don't call it a Paladin. You want great power without great responsibility. That's fine, but it isn't a Paladin.
Umbriere Moonwhisper wrote:
My own personal pet peeve.
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move."
Don't care what mythology, modern media, anime, or anyone else says. Don't care who else has questionable motives, or engages in questionable means. Don't care if the standard is too rigorous.
Don't let them bring you down. Hold yourself higher.
Praise be to you, Oh Opener of the Way!Hail to you, Oh Mother of Souls!
I ask that You may Open the way for us through this life,
As you do for the blessed deceased.
That you would shield us from all Evil.
And Preserve us from the temptations of our lower selves.
Guardian of the blessed dead
Mistress of the Spire of Judgment
Queen of those who dwell in the Boneyard.
She Who is upon Her Throne,
May we go forth with the Divine blessing.
Whimsy Chris wrote:
According to Mr. Jacobs the North American analog is called Arcadia. I was wondering why, as Arcadia seems to me to be Greek.
Arcadia is a term often used to describe a Utopian pastoral or natural state, which may be consistent with pre-colonial America (harmony with nature attributed to native cultures).
It was also the name that Giovanni da Verrazzano (for whom the NY bridge is named) gave to the coastline from Virginia to New York.
John Lance wrote:
Oh man, so many good memories. First PFS scenario, and the originator of the Hammer of Diplomacy and the cantrip "Detect Picnic Basket"
Is it just me, or does Keen Recollection seem to be vestigial?
You're an INT class with 6 skill ranks/level plus an INT modifier of at least +2 (and more likely 3 or higher). All knowledge skills are class skills. How long after level 3 do you think it would take you to put 1 rank into all the knowledge skills anyway?
Erastil. Some folks really object to him because of certain views attributed to him regarding gender roles, and I also like that. Maybe I just take a different tack on Erastil's particular foibles than others, but I consider his inclusion of a dated or backwards teaching as interesting and provocative (in a good way) on a number of different levels.
It fits in with the idea of an aging, dated, stodgy, and paternalistic all-father. It provides a fault among the celestial choir that is in keeping with the warty bits of other all-fathers like Odin and Zeus. It hearkens back to classical stereo-tropes of the damsel in distress and other less-than-perfectly-PC foundations of fantasy literature which have drawn many of us to the game. It provides a point of inter-party friction without necessarily being so combative as to threaten to derail a game, and a chance for role play perspectives and character growths as some of their chauvinistic beliefs are challenged by strong, capable, independent people of all genders and sexualities.
On a larger level, it also demonstrates that good is not necessarily any more monolithic than is evil. It can demonstrate that different people can have different ideas of what is good, and how to achieve it. It allows for subtle variances in the philosophy of the clergy and adherents of a particular faith that are reflected in our own world.
To me, it makes the world of Golarion a deeper and more interesting place.
I also really like the questions raised by his lack of (current) wife, and the hints about his past (like the suggestions that he was married at one time to the patron goddess of Giants, and his role as a Wild-Hunt type God in olden times before he settled down).
We all have varying degrees of experience in playing games, running games, introducing new people to games, and being the new people at games. No one is trying to diminish your experience or the potential value it may have.
But in your 20 years of gaming, and your years of 4e encounters, I can guarantee that you've never had the experience of being a female gamer. Neither have I.
Since you lack that perspective, and the question at hand is what can be done to make a more welcoming environment for female gamers, why do you demand so adamantly that your opinion be given equal weight to the stated opinions of people who actually know from their own experiences what they would like best?
Would you demand your medical opinion be given equal weight to your doctor's, or would you defer to his years of experience in the medical field? What about your legal opinion, as compared to your lawyer? We have certified expert females on this board who are trying to offer their perspectives, and are being shouted down and counter-manded by people who, while they have undeniable experience, lack the critical experience and perspective to the question at hand.
Why can't you just set back and take them at their word as to what they want and what they think may be best for others in their situation? Do you really think you know better what it's like to be them than they do?
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
It's not. Any more than one would say that wealthy, good looking, tall, or thin are aligned with evil.
Some folks just aren't comfortable evaluating how fortunate they are in comparison to other people. Folks tend to define their existence by virtue of the obstacles that they have overcome. It makes some folks genuinely uncomfortable to admit that there are certain challenges they seldom or never face on the basis of things over which they had no control.
Sardonic Soul wrote:
Wow, this is the saddest thread I've probably ever read on this site. The funny thing is the original post is misogynistic wether it's meant that way or not. Solely becuase it's MEN'S duty to solve the problems of women. I'll let you in on the secret answer...... if you don't like any game leave. That advice is haned out in every thread so why it isn't mentioned here is obvious, because it's easier just to shame men. So before this post gets deleted for censor.....um....derailing I'll make a few points and jet out:
So you take the OP's solicitation of advice to make his gaming environment more welcoming to women as some sort of misguided chauvinistic chivalry, and then the best advise you can come up with is "don't bother, they shouldn't be here, if they don't like it they should leave"?
Sardonic Soul wrote:
No one can make you feel inferior, or put you on the defensive, without your consent. Why is it that you feel defensive when discussing the premise of privilege? I didn't ask to be born male, white, American, or wealthy, but I would have to be a fool to not recognize that all of those things have benefited me greatly. What about that should I rail against?
Sardonic Soul wrote:
So now you speak for 95% of the core demographic of Paizo? I don't remember electing you to speak for me. I don't feel responsible for the misdeeds of others- they are responsible for their own misdeeds. What I do lament, and wish to change, is the perception that those misdeeds are not greeted with appropriate opprobrium by the rest of us- the 95%, I suppose, and that that perception can limit the opportunities for good people to enjoy their time at a wonderful game. This thread is supposed to be about ways to do that. Can you contribute in that vein?
Sardonic Soul wrote:
You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity.
This may be too personal, so bear with me.
I'm a very privileged white guy. I happen to have an amazing wife whom I adore, who I was able to talk into Pathfinder as a way to spend more time with her. Initially, I was guilty of many of the sins that have been enumerated above- telling her what to do, how to react, what to play, where to go, how to build her character, under the auspices of "guidance" and "advice." She didn't seem to be enjoying herself very much, and I anguished over how I could make her happier and enjoy the game more.
It wasn't an unusual thing for me to do something like that- when she was unhappy, I felt it was sort of my duty, as the privileged white guy, as the provider husband, as the alpha male, to see to it that I fixed her. Sometimes she'd have trouble with her work, or with her friends or her family, she'd be upset or anxious or emotional, and I would set up nights trying to think about how I could fix her problems.
Then I figured something out- I can't. They aren't MY problems. They're her problems. And so I set about trying to take a very novel (for me) approach- I would stay out of her way for the most part. I would listen when she talked, but I wouldn't offer advice unsolicited. I would be supportive of whatever she wanted to do, and try to help her achieve her goals to the best of her ability, but I wouldn't make myself responsible for her successes or failures. Her happiness is her business- all I could do was try and support her in her quest for it. I'll be damned if we weren't both happier for it.
I applied this also to our Pathfinder relationship. She grew a lot as a player, and started having a lot more fun. She learned a lot more about the rules, became more self-sufficient as a player, and has even expressed interest in GMing. I'm very proud of how she's doing, because I know it's all her development.
I try to apply this same stratagem now to all players at the Pathfinder Lodge where I attend games- I listen, I offer advice when asked (trying to cut down on the unsolicited "guidance"), and I generally try to stay out of the way. I think this advice is equally good for both male and female gamers, but can be especially difficult for folks like me who want to help others- especially new female gamers.
DM_aka_Dudemiester has the crux of it- Be Excellent to Each Other. Knowing when to volunteer to help, and knowing when to shut up, sit down, and let the person play through their character, make their own mistakes, enjoy their own creative triumphs, are equally important.
So rather than 50% of the population being oppressed, it's ~95-99.9% of the population being denied rights?
Are you sure this advances your position?